IN GOWAN RING
Exclusive interview for Russian Gothic Page and DarkCity Magazine (by Stanislav Ivanoff).
Interview with B'eirth.
- Please, introduce the story of band's formation...
"IN GOWAN RING exists as a morphologic figure for the conduction of certain currents of musickal/philosophical ideas/perceptions that I have worked with for the past ten years. This is not the only musick I involve myself in, but I consider it the most important or "sacred"."
- IN GOWAN RING... fascinating music and enigmatic name. Where did it come from?
"The Gowan is a flower of the fields. Something extraordinary is usually occurring where they are found in rings. Conversely, when one is plied within some mysterious energenetical syncronistic circumstance, one could consider oneself "In Gowan Ring"."
- It would be very interesting to know your preferences: music, literature, painting and any other kind of arts you're interested in...
"Aesthetically, I appreciate the myriad cultural artforms as they apply each for their own purpose. Certainly they are all necessary to combat the insipid drudge of modern society. Therapeutically, I play with writing, sound, folk song and visual art, though my highest art is in musical realization. As is said: "All Art aspires toward Music." Linguistic, Sound and Visual artforms are all related in some way, though I feel most fortunate to work with the culmination of these arts within the musical tradition. Poetics and sound were once one, and for me they are still married indelibly. By using poetics and sound forms, we weave the senses and captivate the varied soul segregates. Harmonic and linguistic constructs are guideposts to display the resplendent intricacies of the magical world housed in all creation. Intellect responds by image formation as engendered by poetic/linguistic Ideas while emotional centers respond to melodic and harmonic texture trysted physically in rhythm. The hoped for result is the realization of Existential Regality which entails a varied gamut of ontological awareness."
- Your music and lyrics are very intimate. The innerworld of B'eirth... could you please lift a veil off your person a little bit. What are the things you're concerned in? Where do you draw your inspirations?
"Inspirations are generally received from revelations occurring thru interactions with the "Natural World", the areas of land less adulterated by human intervention; clean air to "in-spire"; conversations with the trees. Above all, the ideas and forms of IN GOWAN RING are engendered thru energies received from emanations in powerful natural spaces. The ocean, mountains, waterways, forests and deserts; these each impart their own liminations to anyone who is open to them, or who stays there in solitude long enough. These spaces naturally lead one to a magically aware worldview where "The Great Theme" is hidden in all of creation."
- Introduce your new album 'The Glinting Spade'. What are the album's backgrounds?
"'The Glinting Spade' is born thru the "inspired moment" transcending time, though achieved thru "work" in time. Metaphors involved in the forms are intrinsically intra-personal and relate to each in manifold measure. Symbols (visual, linguistic or sound) impart "meaning" accessible in time thru the subjects relaxed contemplation potentially culminating in varying degrees of ineffable comprehension which transcend the forms and verbosities utilized. The eidetic effects are most effective when used in a "set apart" or "ritualised" situation which does necessitate a level of trust on the part of the celebrant. I do not take lightly the involvement of listener and feel a natural responsibility. 'The Glinting Spade' is as an open book for anyone to relate with providing their own willingness in meditative circumstance. In this way the transmissions can be best received. This is musick intended to alter awareness, temporally and permanently. The pieces were recorded for the most part during a reclusive summer spent in the deserts of southern Utah. I spent the months alone in a house by the buttes where weeks would pass before I would incur visitors. There was a nearly hermetic solitude that was needed and which contributed greatly toward the purity of what was delivered."
- During the recording of the album you used only live instruments, didn't you?
"If I recall right, the only sound that did not have an acoustic source was the analogue organ on "A Bee at the Dolmen's Dell". The long drones are derived from a vibrating crystal chalice. The whispey sounds are from an enflamed chalice. Other sounds should be more or less decipherable for those who care. The organ, by the way, ("Cipher's String", first verse) was my mothers playing, recorded at the church where she is the Organist. The natural acoustics are what give it the feeling of coming from the walls."
- Your studio recordings and live performances... Do they differ a lot and what do you like more?
"Live performance has always been an aspect in conjunct to recording processes, though it lives its own life. These ritual formations are arranged to be site and time specific coordinated action applied for and with myriad forces (known and unknown) in motion and hence may be completely at variance with anything ordained for distributed recorded media. Group gathering can bring its own set of assumptions which must be transcended in order for the spirit of the work to be recalled."
- Do you have any other projects besides IN GOWAN RING?
"More playful and flippant excursions into the hinterlands of absurdity are collated under my PSCIKADILIK PSYRKUZ series. I & II ('The Merry Andrew's Guide to Would-be Grandiloquent Intemperance') may be combined at some point on a CD thru BlueSanct while at present there is all the material for #III, a 'Veritable Vaudeville of Virtuous Villainage and Vicious Veneration'. I also perform traditional European music drawn from my repertoire according to seasonal divisions, in whatever area I find myself. Most recently 'A Rose for Eros: Lures, Larks and Lyrical Regarding the Mysteries, Pleasures, and Miseries in Consequence of Erotic Love' (Feb 14th with Annabel Lee and Michael Moynihan); 'Ravishing The Blue Rose: Canticle, Verse and Carol Pledged to the Dark Days Sufferance and the Luminescence of the Secret Heart' (Dec 21st); also last Samhain I performed with Annabel Lee (ALRAUNE), Michael Moynihan (BLOOD AXIS), and Markus Wolff (WALDTEUFEL) as "WITCH-HUNT" for a festival on the Olympic peninsula. We pooled together the (mostly) traditional songs we found appropriate for the event. Last week I recorded a couple flute tracks for an upcoming WALDTEUFEL album. I also play weekly in an amateur Flageolet ensemble which helps my studies with this instrument. I'll be playing Traditional music with Michael & Annabel for a Waldorf School May Day festival. I am told they will have a bona-fide Maypole. We played a little while back for another elementary school in town. Playing for kids is great fun, and generally quite surreal."
- What are your plans for the nearest future?
"A 7" of 'The Orb Weavers/A Spider's Song' planned for BlueSanct. The compilation for Papua New Guinea should be out with an IN GOWAN RING track: "The Atavist's Carousel" on "Mask of the People". There are a plethora of ideas for acoustic instruments I'd like to build, songs to record, collaborations etc. Ambitions whine with childish threats, while my itinerant ways leave me often without space, time and equipment to work with (such is the case at present). There are cycles to the Work while emphasis' changes shade thru seasonal inclinations. At the moment I am involved in scholastics, though current studies (under Philip Neuman of De Organographia, which include post graduate Renaissance Music History, 16th Century Modal Counterpoint, and Western Tradition Orchestration) will be coming to a close allowing the abandonment of a stable residence (if you could call the squattish broken out attic I occupy "stable"). In the summer there is the possible participation in the first Arcana Europa Festival held in Cuenca, Spain (July 14th). I am also currently experiencing Springtime Motivational Flux which engenders vagrant tendencies that may be consummated thru wandering episodes while the warm seasons persist."
- Thank you very much for the answers. Please finish this interview in the way you want...
"There is an aesthetic sense that is in danger of extinction. When I live within this sense I regard certain musics as a means of survival in an increasingly hostile environment. It would be a truism to suggest that the aesthetic sense is required for meaningful existence, but it is increasingly unavoidable for me to conclude that the aesthetic sense is ultimately a required sense for human and nonhuman cohabitation and hence survival of the human species. If the extent of ones ontological perspective is merely human than one is divorced from the ultimate reality that forms the basis of existence. I feel music can be used as one of the more invigorative tools in attempting to revivify the atrophied abilities of the human organism to relate meaningfully and responsibly with the world. The intent of the co-ordinations of IN GOWAN RING are to synergize conduitions of the infinite toward liberating experience resulting in a more expansive world view and the cumulation of sacral presence."
-Truth Against the World-
In Gowan Ring
London, WC1N 3XX
1703 North Maple Street
Bloomington, IN 47404
Photos (c) Philip & Seth Nehil
(c) 2000 Russian Gothic Project
Design by Chthon (c) 2000